Violent Crime

*Son Of former State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Esteban Nunez to Stand Trial for Murder

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The son of former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and three other men have been ordered to stand trial on murder and other charges in the stabbing death of Luis Santos of Concord in San Diego last Oct. 4.  San Diego County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Bashant ruled on Wednesday that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence during afive-and-a-half-day preliminary hearing to have Esteban Nunez, 20, Rafael Garcia, 19, Ryan Jett, 23, and Leshanor Thomas, 20, held to answer for the death of Santos, 22.   The four defendants will be arraigned on April 22, San DiegoCounty District Attorney spokesman Steve Walker said today. The men are charged with one count of murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a misdemeanor count of vandalism.   Santos’s father, Fred Santos, said in a phone interview after charges were filed last December that Santos grew up in Concord and went to local schools, attending Clayton Valley High School and graduating from Olympic High School.   Santos said his son had been studying business at San Diego Mesa College and planned to go into real estate.  Prosecutor Jill DeCarlo couldn’t be reached for comment today about the evidence that emerged during the preliminary hearing.  The four defendants were arrested at various locations in Sacramento County on Dec. 3 after detectives obtained arrest warrants forthem.  When the arrests were announced, San Diego police Capt. Jim Collins, who heads his department’s homicide unit, said that at about 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 4 Luis Santos and four friends were leaving a party when they became involved in a verbal altercation with a second group of four males on 5th Street near the San Diego State University campus.  According to Collins, the altercation escalated to a physical fight during which Santos and two of his friends were stabbed and a fourth friend was injured. The suspects fled on foot and Santos died at the scene, Collins said.  The surviving victims in the incident are Evan Henderson, Brandon Scheerer and Keith Robertson.  Collins declined to specify which suspect or suspects killed Santos. He said law enforcement officials consider all four suspects to be equally culpable under the law because they all participated in the attack.

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